Brooke play park issue for dog owners raised

The  new Brooke Park play area.
The new Brooke Park play area.

A Derry woman has said she was shocked to be told that people should take either their dog or children to Brooke Park, but not both.

Teresa Coyle from Glenowen was speaking after visiting the park with her eight-year-old grand-daughter and dog Max.

Ms Coyle said she had raised concerns with a member of council staff on site because there was nowhere to ensure she could keep a close eye on her grand-daughter near the park.

Ms Coyle said she fully agreed that dogs should not be allowed into the play area, but said that some facility for dog owners should be set up to allow them to monitor children playing, and make sure they do not wander off.

She said: “I didn’t even have a proper line of sight to the child. I had to sit on a bench on a hill looking down.

“The way it is designed that is the only option or you have to look through two walls of glass at the cafe. There is nowhere to sit with your dog or tie your dog up.

“When I was sitting on the bench I spoke to one of the workers. I said ‘I don’t think much of this set up’ and he said there was a simple answer to that which was don’t bring the dog; bring the dog or bring the children. He said it’s for families. I was really annoyed.”

Ms Coyle said that the Council spent in the region of £6m on the revamp and that this issue should have been factored in.

A council spokesperson said that every effort is made to accommodate all park users, including dog owners.

“In keeping with council’s policy across all park facilities, dogs are not permitted within the play area, and owners are asked to keep animals on a lead within the wider park site. Anyone who has any concerns is asked to contact the park’s management team on 02871 253253.”